Life after graduation by Jacques van Zyl

XOLANI MAWANDE – FROM COO TO CEO: A JOURNEY OF 20 MILESTONES
June 11, 2019
Addressing Youth Unemployment from HR Point of View by Maphutha Diaz
June 19, 2019

Imagine having just graduated and embarking on your career path to your dream job. Imagine seeing the advert for an entry level position at your dream company. It only requires that you have completed school. You by far meet all the minimum requirements because you are a graduate. You have the paper to prove that hard work doesn’t put you off and you are willing to start at the bottom for a career opportunity. However, you have millions of other applicants who will apply for the opportunity and the possibility exist that other employers may overlook your CV because they assume you might not stay long in the company with your qualification or that they feel they can’t afford you.

The next job opportunity requires a degree and years of experience. But you have just graduated and have no experience. At times it feels like no-one is prepared to take a gamble on a graduate student thus it feels like more doors remain closed. 

What if companies made it possible for graduates to walk a path with them. Establish graduate forums where graduates can sign up to learn more about their chosen company. Let’s make it practical. Joe Public graduated with a Degree in Computer Science. If great players in the field of Information Technology such as Google and Microsoft had a forum Joe Public could join it can help him/her to learn more about the company. Similarly, the company can use the forum as a strategic way of recruiting since you will be drawing the graduates to you and it may help to bring down recruitment costs. Training can be provided via the forum in the form of E-Learning or webinars. Mentors can use the forum to look for mentees. In this way we can develop our graduates, thus nurturing them for a career with a company.

I make use of the student forums at university and it really goes a long way to keeping one motivated for the path ahead. You might just touch the heart of someone who really needs to get some encouragement for the long career journey. It helps knowing that there is someone who is able to give advice or someone who is in the same position who is also searching for a career opportunity.

In Afrikaans, there is the following saying: “Buig die boompie terwyl dit nog jonk is.” It pertains to teaching a child while the child is still young. Let’s make this our philosophy when engaging with graduates, whether in person or via graduate forums. Develop them while they are still young and fresh on the job market. Teach them the necessary skills that will make them better prepared for the career journey.

I would like to make a plea to companies to start graduate forums whereby graduates can join in and learn more of your company and you as an employer can learn about their dreams and potential. Sometimes we have the key in our hands to unlock the dreams and potential of others. This could potentially lead the graduates to your door, you just need to be ready to make them feel at home. Let’s make it our mission to develop and nurture the graduates who cross our path.